The Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore started the vaccination exercise for Home Team officers involved in frontline healthcare operations on 11 January 2021 as per a press release.
The exercise includes:
- Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) officers
- Staff from the Home Team Medical Services Division
- Frontline officers from the Home Team Science and Technology Agency - who run laboratory tests on the swab samples taken from travellers
- Frontline officers from Singapore Prison Service’s medical services division.
This is in line with the Expert Committee’s recommendation for persons at risk of being infected by COVID-19, in particular healthcare workers and workers at the frontline of our national COVID-19 response, to be vaccinated first.
Of the 1,123 Home Team officers identified for this first phase of the vaccination operation, 94 percent agreed to receive the vaccination.
80 officers received vaccination yesterday while a total of about 1,050 officers will be progressively vaccinated over the coming weeks.
The first Home Team healthcare frontliner to be vaccinated was Warrant Officer 1 Mohamed Shafiee bin Jamin, 38 whose role involves responding to day-to-day medical emergencies.
“The vaccine gives me the assurance and peace of mind in safely carrying out my frontline responder duties as a paramedic in the SCDF. As part of my responsibilities, I have responded to and conveyed suspected COVID-19 cases. Taking the vaccine is not just for my personal safety, but also for the safety of the patients, my co-workers and my loved ones. My wife is also an SCDF paramedic and she will be receiving the vaccine later today,” WO1 Shafiee said.
Lieutenant-Colonel Janice Oh, 42, a Senior Assistant Director from SCDF’s EMS Department who was also vaccinated yesterday said, “SCDF EMS personnel serve on the frontlines on a daily basis and come into close contact with members of the public in their role. Getting vaccinated provides both SCDF EMS personnel and the public additional protection against COVID-19. SCDF EMS will continue to attend to suspected COVID-19 cases in full Personal Protective Equipment regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.”
Prior to vaccination, all officers were screened for their eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, based on their medical history and pre-existing medical conditions.
Those with medical conditions of concern will be reviewed by Home Team Medical Officers before they are vaccinated. After their vaccination, the officers are monitored for 30 minutes for any adverse medical reactions. Thereafter, they will be scheduled for their second dose in approximately three weeks.
The vaccination exercise, including the second dose, for the 1,050 Home Team officers involved in frontline healthcare operations is expected to be completed in six weeks.